David Thompson
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October 01, 2007

Comments

Brendan

Wow! This gives me an idea for a possible business. Extreme parachuting from spaaaaace!!!!

David

You may want to provide customers with mittens and a scarf. And sunblock.

Jim -  PRS

Amazing, simply amazing.

David

Yes, it is. It’s one of those events where, once you’ve actually seen it, it seems odd you hadn’t heard of it before. It also raises the issue of what altitude qualifies as space.

The Thin Man

"what altitude qualifies as space."

Because the density of atmosphere is a gradient, there is no actual boundary. As Joe says in the video, 63,000 feet would see your blood boil away due to lack of pressure. But I suspect that 62,000 feet would be none too healthy either.

AntiCitizenOne

Here's a space related quote of the day:

"To be sure, Saint-Simon was a flamboyant character, and the kind of megalomaniac aristocrat — idealist, bad writer, idiot and eccentric — with which early 19th-century socialism was amply stocked."

http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/print/31251

David

AC1,

I rather like this, from the same article:

“[Kepler’s] idea was mocked by the French astronomer Ismael Boulliau, who in 1645 said that such a force would have to radiate in all directions like light and so would weaken with the square of the distance. Boulliau simply found it impossible to believe God would act this way…”

Boulliau subsequently changed his mind, but I’m tickled by how the inverse-square law caused outrage, while presuming to know the preferences of a hypothetical deity did not.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ismael_Bullialdus

Brad in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Not sure where you dig all this stuff up David, but this one is every bit as cool as all the rest.

AntiCitizenOne

David, It seems a common trait with physicists.

After all "God does not play dice..."

David

AC1,

“It seems a common trait with physicists.”

Einstein was, I think, using the term very loosely – i.e. to mean ‘nature’ or something - and wasn’t referring to a personal deity as such; as opposed to Boulliau, who was ordained as a Catholic priest. But, yes, as a general rule I think it’s wise not to claim to know the detailed preferences of deities that may or may not exist.

Brad,

Happy to oblige. Please feel free to roam the archives. I’m told using the PayPal button causes a pleasurable release of endorphins.

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